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Tourism Board looks to buy property; negotiate with Nags Head

At its October meeting, the Dare County Tourism Board moved forward with two initiatives.

After a closed session, the board authorized its attorney to negotiate the price and terms of a contract to purchase properties adjacent to the Soundside Event Site in Nags Head. One parcel is occupied by Dairy Queen. Another parcel is occupied by a miniature golf course and a ropes course, called First Flight Adventure Park. Both the golf course and the ropes course have long-term leases, which transfer with a sale.

“The current budget allows for the purchase of property,” reported the board’s steering committee.

The board affirmed its decision to complete an economic impact and site feasibility study for The Soundside Event Site. Another plan or revision of event site use needs to be in place in four years.

The board also spent time discussing the request from the Town of Nags Head about recouping the town’s money that initially helped purchase the two parcels that make up the existing site.

In September, the town’s request was referred to the board’s steering committee. That committee recommended paying back $2,366,107 by purchasing a percentage of the property as the board’s budget permits over a period of 20 years.

The board’s agents will use the recommendation as a starting point with the Town of Nags Head.

Three short-term restricted fund requests for pedestrian projects were approved. Restricted fund grants are disbursed on a matching basis not to exceed 50 percent of the actual cost. The projects are:

  • Town of Duck. Pedestrian Improvements, Phase 3. $314,779 grant. Project runs from Duck Deli to Ships Watch, about four-tenths of a mile. Total project: $629,558.
  • Town of Kitty Hawk. Kitty Hawk Park Trail Connection Project. $47,592 grant, which will connect Kitty Hawk Park with existing “Birch Lane” Trail. Total project: $138,520.
  • Town of Nags Head. West Side Multi-Use Path, Phase VIII. $487,932. Construct two miles of multi-use paths along Deering St. to Dunn St., Soundside Rd. to Danube St., Gull St. to Baymeadow Dr., and Danube to Epstein Dr. Total project: $1,748,875.

The total amount recommended is $842,813. Total requested was $863,619.

Motorcoach fees will be rising in all National Park Service sites. At Dare County’s three sites, motorcoach companies will pay a $300 fee for an annual commercial use authorization fee. Admission fees and commercial use authorization management fees at Wright Brothers National Memorial will be $10 per person on the motorcoach ($5 admission, $5 management fee). For Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and Cape Hatteras National Seashore, admission fee will $5 per person on Oct. 1, 2019. At Fort Raleigh and Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the admission charges will be self-reported by the companies at the end of each calendar year.

Students groups can apply for education waivers.

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